Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Thesis Format

Integrated Article


Master of Science


Health and Rehabilitation Sciences


Sibbald, Shannon L


Person-centred plans have been identified as an upstream approach to addressing the inequities experienced by individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. However, little evidence on implemented approaches exists. This integrated thesis consists of two studies exploring individualized participatory approaches to care within community-care services, guided by an integrated knowledge translation approach. The first study is a scoping review aimed to identify individualized participatory approaches to care in the literature. The second study is a qualitative descriptive study utilizing semi-structured interviews with community-care staff (n=11) to understand an operationalized person-centred planning approach. The scoping review provides insight into the variability of care planning approaches while the interviews highlight key features of an operationalized approach that has led to positive impacts on the persons-supported and care professionals. These studies provide evidence to fill the gap between theory and implementation, supporting the spread of person-centred plans within community-care organizations across Canada.

Summary for Lay Audience

Person-centred care has received significant support to involve the individual in decisions regarding their care. This typically involves discussions between the person and care professionals to understand the person’s wants and needs and effectively respond to them. There has been notable movement towards person-centred care approaches, such as person-centred planning. Person-centred plans (PCPs) have been identified as a promising approach for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, to fully understand a person’s care needs as well as life goals. PCPs are meant to move beyond health care to encompass social care, facilitating a goal-setting process for individuals to live meaningfully, engaging in activities that they enjoy.

This thesis consists of two studies, a scoping review and a descriptive study. The scoping review was conducted to identify relevant literature on PCPs to understand the features and resulting impacts of these approaches to care. The descriptive study aimed to understand how PCPs are practiced in a community-care organization and the impacts of their unique approach from the perspective of care professionals.

The findings from the scoping review revealed huge variability in how PCPs can be practiced within organizations. There was no clear consensus on how to implement PCPs and a lack of studies showcasing the impacts of these approaches. The descriptive study identified the importance of centralizing services around the individuals they serve, which can be facilitated through PCPs. It also revealed positive impacts on the individuals themselves and the care professionals.

The studies illustrate that PCPs have the potential to improve health and social care for vulnerable populations. The findings from this research can support organizations in implementing similar approaches to PCPs. It is important that future research explores how PCPs have been implemented in other organizations and the perspectives of persons-supported and their families.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License